Tag Archives: Newington Green

INTERVIEW WITH PROFESSOR ANNA BIRCH

As we remember Mary Wollstonecraft throughout September here is a wonderful interview with Professor Anna Birch about the life and legacy of the author of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman.

Professor Anna Birch Interview

Anna has been a great supporter of Unity Arts and here she was in  April on Newington Green last year giving a talk at our Hackney Dissent event which was celebrating Wollstonecraft’s 260th Birthday.

 

As she mentions during the film her company Fragments & Monuments created WOLLSTONECRAFT WALKS APP  a great outside research activity during these strange times.

The interview was conducted by Ellen Gage one the researchers from the Heritage Team who is currently working on a paper looking at the travel writing of Wollstonecraft.

Ellen wrote a blog about the research, filming an interview process for us here Behind The Scenes With Anna Birch

The film was shot and edited by Neil Webster with the support of the Unity Arts Digital Outputs Team, including Christian Mahier-Smith and is part of our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT.

Live Tours – NEWINGTON GREEN MEETING HOUSE

Newington Green Meeting House is now open to the public after extensive restorative build work. They are inviting the public to explore the elegantly renovated building and learn about the fascinating people and events that shaped its revolutionary history.

Richard Price

This also means there are opportunities to see our exhibition VINDICATION as a                        “live” installation! 

 

by Caterina Belo

Tours are approximately 30 minutes long and then you are free to explore the space, exhibitions and audio guide yourselves. The building is fully wheelchair accessible.

Please help them cater the tour towards your interest and needs of the group by answering all the questions when booking.

Live Tour Slots

VINDICATION – Mary Wollstonecraft Virtual Exhibition

During September, to mark the anniversary of the death of Mary Wollstonecraft, our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported

Virtual Exhibition

VINDICATION

is hosted by NEWINGTON GREEN MEETING HOUSE

After a year of various events and activities these are responses to our participants’ research into the writings and letters of Mary Wollstonecraft.  Famously the author of A Vindication Of The Rights of Woman and a  radical, a dissenter and a champion of the education of girls.

STEWY work by Cerys Davies – Hoxton Hall Youth Arts

A Hackney Heroine who lived in Hoxton, had a school in Newington Green, worshipped at the Unitarian Church (now Newington Green Meeting House) and was married and first buried in Old St Pancras Church in King’s Cross.

Our first “public” event during the pandemic with a careful and socially distanced planning and setting up in August and filmed by Steve .

Many of the pieces have been created during the Covid-19 pandemic and come out of online workshops and one to one socially distanced meetings with the researchers and artists.

Our thanks to Newington Green Meeting House that have made this installation possible by welcoming us as their first 360 virtual event.

Before you take the VINDICATION tour you can find more detail on the artists’ work here

Click to access vindication-holding-booklet.pdf

And the Wollstonecraft Timeline here

Wollstonecraft Timeline

If you want to see the exhibition as part of a tour of Newington Green Meeting House book a slot here

NGMH Tour Slots

BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT – Update

We are continuing to implement the online research, activities and events measure until September.

We have been busy however.

There have been submissions of responses to the An Essay on The Writings and Genius of Shakespear by Elizabeth Montagu

Here is an example from Priscilla Olympio

Phoebe Monologue – AS YOU LIKE IT

For more info in how to submit these outputs follow this link

Show Us The Genius Of Shakespeare – Elizabeth Montagu Study

We are continuing work on the preparation of STEWY installation at home and delivered paints, felt-tips, and hard copies.

You can download the PDF and we will collect the coloured in sheets after lockdown has been lifted and deliver workshops to complete the piece for exhibition.

Some of our participants made personal solo visits to Wollstonecraft sites on her birthday including laying flowers at her monument at St Pancras Old Church

We partnered with Newington Green Meeting House in their online Wollstonecraft birthday events and supported the launch of the new WOLLSTONECRAFT WALKS APP  by one of our heritage partners,  Fragments & Monuments, in collaboration with Scary Little Girls

We are continuing work on our digital outputs including the edit of the interview with Professor Anna Birch – supported by Neil Webster from Edwin Louis Fear Films. We have started the edit of the book of community produced poetry Hackney Dissent and the heritage booklet Blue Circle Of Dissent.

In addition we are building a YouTube channel containing ALL our filmed outputs over the last 10 years.

Unity Arts YouTube channel

If you need materials or support with your at home research or are new and would like to know more about this project, please contact us via the form below.

Newington Green Online Pandemic Memorial

From our neighbours at New Unity

A participatory online community memorial event to mourn losses from coronavirus in Newington Green will be held on
Sunday 31st May at 4pm
At this event, community members will be able to mourn individuals close to them and those from the wider community who have died from the virus. In addition, other losses and uncertainty caused by the pandemic will also be marked, including job losses and mental health problems.
To attend, register at bit.ly/NewingtonGreenMemorial
The link to join the online video event (through Zoom) will be sent the day before. Up to 500 people may attend and participate.
There will be readings, live music and more.
Bereaved people are invited to get in touch to arrange for the memorial to include a moment of remembrance specifically for their lost loved ones.
The memorial will be hosted by New Unity, a non-religious congregation in Newington Green.
All are welcome.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT

We would like to remember our local Hackney heroine today. philosopher, radical, and author of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary was born in Spitafields on April 27 1759

She set up a school in Newington Green (a hotbed of Dissent) and for a time lived in Hoxton.

Newington Green

For more information here is a Wollstonecraft Timeline with illustrations

As part of the NLHF project BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT we are creating an installation based on the STEWY graffiti artwork that will be back on the wall at New Unity once the building re-opens.

So for any that want to contribute to that installation print off and

colour in this stencil and we will collect at the end of lockdown and add to our laminates which hopefully will be hung in September 2020 at New Unity

There are more Wollstonecraft Resources here!

                            Mary Wollstonecraft Unity Arts 260th Celebration 2019 at Newington Green

 

WOLLSTONECRAFT WALKS APP Launch

WOLLSTONECRAFT WALKS APP has been launched today by one of our heritage partners,  Fragments & Monuments, in collaboration with Scary Little Girls

Today is of course the 261st birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and the app focuses on the life and times of Wollstonecraft and her impact on women, politics and 21st century society and culture. You’ll discover secrets about Mary, her life and her Green!

In the app you can find:
WOLLSTONECRAFT WALK GUIDE: Take a guided audio walk around Newington Green stopping off at significant locations (The Cobblers, Newington Green School, Lady Mildmay pub) and
listen to the words of iconic feminist writers whilst hearing about the herstory of Newington Green.
Podcasts – hosted by Marina Garvey Birch and Erica McKoy:
speaking to local people about their experience of the walks, readings from Maya Angelou, Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, Michelle Obama
BTS convo with Anna Birch (Fragments & Monuments) and Rebecca Mordan (Scary Little Girls).
Fragments & Monuments performance and film archive (2000-2020)
School Assembly resources

‘We are confident this brand-new app will bring our historical neighbour Mary Wollstonecraft back to Newington Green
for a new audience. The Green is where Wollstonecraft set up a school for girls in 1784.’
Professor Anna Birch, Artistic Director Fragments & Monuments
“Everyone is talking about these unique walks, are they worth the hype? Yes!” The Independent

Urban  Bird  in – Covid 19 by Billy Colvill

From our at home activities, here is a response to where we all find ourselves during lockdown by one of the poets from  Hackney Dissent, Billy Colvill.

Urban  Bird  in- Covid 19

“ Ring-a-ring  of  roses

A  pocketful  of  posies

Atishoo, a tissue?

We  all  full  down.”

This  is  purdah.

Just  spent  my  daily  allowance  of

Essential  journey  time.

I  loiter  at  the  cross-roads

To  my  room

Full  of  possible  intent

But  know  it`s  lockdown  facing  me,

Splendid  isolation.

Have  to  keep  slapping  myself,

“ Wake  up  and  smell  the  coffee.”

I  must  have  been  asleep

When  my  carnival  of  people  passed  on  by.

I  want  my  bumping, bustling, sweaty, shoving,

Rude,  insulting  crowd

Back.

 

Everyone  has  become, “so  kind,”

So  loving,  so  polite.

And  when  those  people

Who  wouldn`t  ordinarily  give  me  the  time  of  day

Say  they  want  to  befriend  me,

It`s  been  my  experience they  want  to  shamelessly  exploit

My  singular  native  English  nostalgic  sentimentality.

Then  there`s  that  class  of  people who

In  the  blink  of  an  eye

Voted  your  wage  rise  down, voted  to

Leave  you  homeless,

They  in  one  voice  speak  through  antiseptic,

Praising  heroes  who  work  a  twelve

And  a  half-hour  shift   at  their  bidding

Without  a  paid  break  or  proper  equipment.

As  if  the  “ heroes”  weren’t  in  danger  enough.

How  our  leaders bang  on  how  much

They  love  and  care  for  the  people,

Stop  it,   my  ears are bleeding

Where`s  your  London  mob  when  you  need  them?

The  riot  of  colour?  The  noise?

What  was  I  moaning  about?

 

Dragging  my  feet  back  to  my  room,

right  now, if  I  had  the  chance

I`d Jump  in   and   join my  herd

For  the  company  and  banter

Even  though  by  all  accounts

My  government  is  leading  the  herd  to  the  abattoir.

The  instruction,

Writ  large  by  the  invisible  hand  of  Capital

For  only  the  privileged  to  see

Based  on  the  witty  professors

Statistical  probability,

The  instruction  is,

That  for  us  the  masses,

The  question, who  lives or dies,

Is  for  us  the  masses,

A  charitable  post-code lottery.

The  invisible  hand  of  Capital

Signs  off;

“ England  is  now  one  big  Grenfell Tower.”

I  swear  on  the  Roman  London  god  of  birds, Janus,

Fuck  it,

Even  after  all  what  my  families  been  through

There  is  still  no  science  for  us,  so  it`s

still  down  to  more

luck  than  judgement.

Back  in  my  room

The  weight  of  the  world  wears  heavy  on  me.

I  think  of  someone,  I  wonder,

Have  they  been  tested  yet?

Billy  Colvill ( One  is  A  Bird. 2020. Billy  Colvill.)

STEWY Installation At Home Activity

Unity Arts have been invited to contribute their installation piece based on the STEWY graffiti art portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft as part of the re-opening of New Unity at Newington Green (where she ran a school for girls).

Originally the artwork was to be installed in New Unity for April and also form part of our event this April 27 on Wollstonecraft’s birthday.

We have had to cancel our Easter workshops when we were to finish the work on the installation but everyone who enjoys colouring in can still do some of the work at home. Especially children. (Colouring in will also lower your blood pressure).

Our work on this piece started on Wollstonecraft’s birthday last year and has since seen contributions from the Dissenter’s Choir,  Hoxton Hall Youth Group, during the Summer Workshops at the Diorama Arts studio and by pupils from William Patten school.

All levels welcome.

                      Newington Green Autumn 2019

Download the Wollstonecraft Timeline with illustrations to learn about why Wollstonecraft is a subject for this project

And the STEWY A4 Colouring in Sheet

Please contact us via the form below and we can keep you posted about the progress of the piece, organise the collection of artwork and of course invite all artists to the opening in September!

 

STEWY Installation Workshops – Easter

New Unity at Newington Green is re-opening later this month.

On April 24 and 25 they will be holding various events called

Mary Wollstonecraft and Dissent: A Celebration

and Unity Arts have been invited to contribute their installation piece based on the STEWY graffiti art portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft.

Our work on this piece started on Wollstonecraft’s birthday last year and has since also been worked on by the Dissenter’s Choir,  Hoxton Hall Youth Group, during the Summer Workshops at the Diorama Arts studio and by pupils from William Patten school.

In order to complete the work earlier than initially planned (October) we will be holding some Open House art workshops over the Easter break in St Mary’s Community Centre in Hackney. 

All levels welcome.

Please register interest in the form below